Self-care is one of those things we all know we should be doing like brushing our teeth, making our beds, combing our hair, but sometimes…or a lot of times, we forget it.
We’re just too busy to bother.
It’s on our “to-do” list looming like a dreaded task.
We’ll get to it eventually.
Self-care is one of the most important parts of showing up as our best selves.
And even if you don’t really care about showing up as your best self, it’ll at least give you the chance to rest and recharge even for just an hour.
Alright alright, already, so how do we even practice self-care?
I mean do you really need to go to a spa and have a whole day planned or whatever?
I’m giving you 7 essential self-care hacks that you can immediately implement into your daily schedule to help you live your best life and show up as your best self on a daily basis.
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7 Essential Self-Care Hacks for a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul
1. Stay Off Social Media for 24 Hours
I can already feel eyes twitching and hands white-knuckling iPhones phones.
Stick with me here.
Social media, while a fantastic outlet for many different things is simply not the place to be when taking a self-care day or when you’re feeling run down, uninspired and tired.
When we scroll through the realms of social media we’re usually looking for an escape, we want to peer into the lives of the rich and famous.
Or ya know, just regular people turned Instagram influencer.
Doing so takes us out of our own minds and allows others to decide how we’re going to feel.
We allow the people of the internet to decide our feelings for the day based on what they’re feeling, what they’re doing, what they’re life is like.
Social media can also be a place of comparison.
Of looking at someone else and thinking we should be working harder just like them, or we should be doing more just because someone posted a picture of themselves working at a computer.
I personally used social media, alcohol, and food to avoid my uncomfortableness.
I didn’t want to feel what I was feeling so I’d just pop onto social media with a rather large glass of wine and just like that, I’d be whisked away by into someone else’s life.
But here’s the thing.
The whole reason for a self-care day is to take time out for yourself.
You usually need one after a really tough or draining day. And you need to allow yourself the time to feel what you need to feel, not bury the feelings down just so they can rear their ugly head when someone spills their milk or cuts you off in traffic.
Just try it.
See what comes up, learn from your feelings, look into yourself and you will feel so much better.
2. Slow down & Lessen the Load
Regardless of what your schedule is, who needs you, what is calling you, you are a priority.
There’s a reason on airplanes they tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. You cannot pour from an empty cup, you cannot help others if you’re energy is completely drained.
This idea goes against human nature.
We are built to help other people first and then focus on ourselves. But one of the best things that you can do if you’re not feeling 110% yourself, is to lessen the load and slow the heck down.
Don’t be afraid to ask for some help.
Whether that be a babysitter for just an hour, someone to cover your shift at work, or your spouse to take on a few extra tasks.
Taking a step back from your daily to do’s even for just 1 hour is essential for your mental wellbeing.
Seriously, make yourself a priority, take a step back and give yourself the breathing room you deserve and need to thrive.
3. Practice giving a Gratitude Bomb
Gratitude is one of the best ways to get yourself out of your own head and bring you back into the right here and right now.
Having gratitude for what you have right in front of you is one of the best ways to bring you back into the moment because it breaks the cycle of thinking about what’s to come, you’re simply focusing on what you have.
What I love doing and highly recommend starting with is to give gratitude for how far you’ve come.
I heard this analogy from James Wedmore and fell in love with it, we’re always trying to climb this mountain of success and we tend to look ahead and feel frustrated with how far we have left to go but we forget to look back and see how far we’ve come.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and give gratitude for yourself, for how you’ve come, because today, you’re better than you were yesterday and that’s something to celebrate.
The other way to practice a gratitude bomb when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed is to take three breaths and give gratitude for everything you can see around you at that moment.
Giving gratitude for the things you have right here and right now is one of the best ways to elevate your mood and feel much more in tune with your mind and body.
Gratitude is also an easy way to manifest things into our lives with The Law of Attraction.
This is a tip I learned from the book, The Magic by Rhonda Bryne, which is a fantastic book if you want to learn how to be more grateful in everyday life.
4. Forgiveness Work
Forgiveness is one of the most feared “F” words but it’s also one of the most empowering.
And by forgiveness work I simply mean, forgiving those people or situations that have wronged us in the past, forgiving ourselves for doing something we regret and even forgiving ourselves for feeling.
Forgiveness is one of the best ways to release feelings that are weighing us down.
I have always heard that guilt is one of the most useless emotions and that keeping a grudge against someone else is like drinking poison and hoping it hurts the other person.
Holding onto those feelings is only hurting yourself.
The point of forgiveness work in this sense is to forgive yourself for the way you’re feeling, observe your feelings from a neutral place.
You have feelings, but you are not your feelings.
One of the worst things we can do when we’re feeling something “negative” is to judge ourselves for feeling that way which basically just takes us down the hole of feeling bad about feeling bad.
Then we create even more negative feelings with destructive behaviors such as drinking, eating excessive amounts of food, watching movies that make us cry, etc. (all of which I’ve done. Doesn’t work.)
The point of this forgiveness work is to recognize how you’re feeling, notice what made you feel this way, allow yourself to feel what you need to feel, forgive the situation and yourself and move on.
5. Journal the Heck out of your Feelings
I used to be terrified of journaling out my negative feelings because I’m all about The Law of Attraction and I thought that by writing these down, I was just attracting more of those things.
And we already know what usually happens when we bury feelings down, they always come back up with vengeance.
The point is to get your feelings out, get them out of your head so you stop thinking about them.
One of the most annoying things to happen when we’re angry, stressed or annoyed about something is to have a never-ending loop of thoughts running through our minds.
One trick my mom always had me do as a kid when I was mad at a friend or family member was to write a letter to them with all the reasons I was mad at them. I would never mail the letter (yeah we mailed stuff back in the day) but I always noticed it never had anything to do with the other person and more to do with something I was going through.
If you’re not a journal type person, talk it out with someone you trust.
Just get out your feelings, allow the loop in your head to stop, understand what these feelings were trying to teach you and then again, move on.
6. Reframe the Situation
Reframe the situation from “why is this happening to me?”, to “what can I learn from this or what is this trying to teach me?”
The thought and belief that drastically changed my life was believing that everything in life is a lesson.
Good, bad, easy, hard, challenging.
Whatever the situation was, everything in life is trying to teach me something.
As soon as I flipped the switch from why is this happening, to what is this teaching me, I immediately felt a release because I looked at everything in my life that much differently.
Whether you believe it or not, everything in life is teaching you something.
Choose to recognize the lessons life is trying to teach you because if you don’t, you’re just going to get thrown the same lessons over and over again until you do.
7. Ask the Universe What you Need
I realize that this one is quite a bit out there but the idea here is to sit in meditation and simply ask the universe what you need.
When you’re feeling run down, frustrated, uninspired, tired, not creative, it’s tough to see the solution that may be sitting right in front of you.
But when you sit silently and ask yourself the right questions, you’re going to get the right answers.
The answer may come up right away but choose to be open to what comes up.
Maybe you get the feeling that you need to go for a walk, do it, maybe you get the urge to go to your favorite coffee shop, do it.
Because that’s what you need right at that moment.
Find What Works for You & Do It
At the end of the day, you need to figure out what is going to make you feel the best, what is going to make you show up as your best self in your life.
What is your favorite self-care hack and are you taking the time you need for yourself?